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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Gaming Articles » Musings On

Subject: Names used in examples - are they getting sillier? rss

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Barry Harvey
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In "The Old Days" when rules could be bothered to provide examples, the players were generally referred to using such names as 'Player A' and 'Player B' or maybe 'the attacking player' or 'the active player'.

Then they got friendlier and instead of Players A and B they were given real names like Henry, George or Steven. This quickly moved forward to include women's names as well which allowed pronouns to differentiate between players in the text (not just more inclusive but more useful).

Then they got inventive.

'Sebastian, LeJean and Skyler are sitting down to play...'

'Heinrich, Abdul, Mao Bao and Keezheekoni are in a games cafe playing....'

Are writers being silly or trying to be more inclusive? Should I feel embarrassed if my group consists of names such as Mark, Paul, Paul, Richard and Maria?

Has anyone else noticed this.
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Charles Bone
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Yup. I say we need a geeklist of names used in these examples.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Yes I mean what kind of silly names are these, who on earth would call their kid Abdul?

Yes they are trying to be more inclusive.

Some examples of damn silly names (will people stop putting them in games), all based on the fact my group has no one with these names.

Aaron
Agis
Alessio
Chip
Dori
Dorlon
Eduardo
François
Fritz
Jervis
Reiner
Ty
Werner
Wolf
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Lucas Schoukroun
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I think that in the 7 Wonders Duel rulebook, the two example player are Bruno and Antoine
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Tomello Visello
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caracfergus wrote:
Are writers being silly or trying to be more inclusive?

Same thing with the progression from "he" to "she" and (grammatically confusing) "they". That somehow the old method was insensitive.

Quote:
Should I feel embarrassed if my group consists of names such as Mark, Paul, Paul, Richard and Maria?

How would you feel if the rules said John, Paul, George, and Ringo ?

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Boaty McBoatface
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TVis wrote:
caracfergus wrote:
Are writers being silly or trying to be more inclusive?

Same thing with the progression from "he" to "she" and "they". That somehow the old method was insensitive.

Quote:
Should I feel embarrassed if my group consists of names such as Mark, Paul, Paul, Richard and Maria?

How would you feel if the rules said John, Paul, George, and Ringo ?

or Nasty, Stig, Dirk and Barry
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Joe Salamone
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Popular names have changed quite a bit in my lifetime. When I was in grammar school, kids were named John, Mike, Jim, Eddie, Carol, Mary, Debbie . . . there weren't any kids named Parker (unless it was a last name), Justin, Brittany, Ashley, Taylor (unless it was a last name) . . . So, when I read various names in rulebooks, I usually assume they are currently "trending" names for various countries (or the names of the designers). By the time I finish reading the example, I forget the names anyway. (I'm terrible at remembering names).
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Ygor
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Nope.

To all your ?s

caracfergus wrote:

In "The Old Days" when rules could be bothered to provide examples, the players were generally referred to using such names as 'Player A' and 'Player B' or maybe 'the attacking player' or 'the active player'.

Then they got friendlier and instead of Players A and B they were given real names like Henry, George or Steven. This quickly moved forward to include women's names as well which allowed pronouns to differentiate between players in the text (not just more inclusive but more useful).

Then they got inventive.

'Sebastian, LeJean and Skyler are sitting down to play...'

'Heinrich, Abdul, Mao Bao and Keezheekoni are in a games cafe playing....'

Are writers being silly or trying to be more inclusive? Should I feel embarrassed if my group consists of names such as Mark, Paul, Paul, Richard and Maria?

Has anyone else noticed this.
 
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Pat Smith
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I always liked Alice, Bob, Carol, etc. which are example names used for computing topics. They're very old-fashioned now.

I prefer a wider variety of names in rulebooks if only because it makes it more interesting to imagine different people playing the game. It's nice if the names follow a pattern like A, B, C, or fit in with the theme of the game.
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Tomello Visello
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pancakemetro wrote:
I always liked Alice, Bob, Carol, etc. which are example names used for computing topics. They're very old-fashioned now.

Once upon a time Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice were very new-fashioned.
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Steve Vondra
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Are the designers/developers/editors using the real names of playtesters?

Who am I to call one's name "silly".
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No Info
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TVis wrote:
caracfergus wrote:
Are writers being silly or trying to be more inclusive?

Same thing with the progression from "he" to "she" and (grammatically confusing) "they". That somehow the old method was insensitive.

Quote:
Should I feel embarrassed if my group consists of names such as Mark, Paul, Paul, Richard and Maria?

How would you feel if the rules said John, Paul, George, and Ringo ?



The rules of Bretagne use John, Paul, George and Ringo as player names
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Jerbear
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Names are getting much more non traditional with each passing year. I work with kids and here are some names.

Mateo
Jacyler
Graciela
Yaritsa
Giovanni
Raina
Yesenia
Jara
Aiva
Avah
Maile
Kaydance
Chere
Itati
Janae

This is just a small sample. Some of them are throw backs to past family names, but a lot of them are new made up things to seem a little different and stick out I imagine. I don't think there is a trend of silliness in game rules really, just a sign of the changing of the times. People want there children to be different than everyone else and names like that help differentiate.

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Jeff Quick

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I'm pretty sure many "unusual" names are less unusual in Europe, where a lot of games are created.

I work with game designers named Bruno, Antoine, Guillaume, and Etienne. Their friends and significant others have similarly "exotic" names. If you come across an unusual name in example text, skim the playtester/special thanks credits. You can often see the same names there.

It will seem strange to an American audience, but often it isn't so much people trying to be silly or inclusive, as it is designers name-checking their friends.

[edit for spelling]
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Russell Martin
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Some of the names we use for each other beginning with "A", "B", "C", and "D" may not be appropriate for in-game examples...
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Joe Salamone
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TVis wrote:
pancakemetro wrote:
I always liked Alice, Bob, Carol, etc. which are example names used for computing topics. They're very old-fashioned now.

Once upon a time Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice were very new-fashioned.


A "cutting edge" movie in its time that seems very tame today.
 
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I wrote an example using the names Peter, Susan, Edmund and Soraya.
 
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Mat FR
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TVis wrote:
and (grammatically confusing) "they"


I am not sure why you find the singular 'they' grammatically confusing - it has been in use for 500+ years and adds a perfectly usable genderless pronoun to the language.
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Tomello Visello
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matfr wrote:
TVis wrote:
and (grammatically confusing) "they"


I am not sure why you find the singular 'they' grammatically confusing - it has been in use for 500+ years and adds a perfectly usable genderless pronoun to the language.

I can't speak to more than a fraction of those 500 years, but if you have that kind of background knowledge then I'm surprosed that you're surprised.

 
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Mark Carlson
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They've become more modern and culturally inclusive. It doesn't matter if two players in an example are named Princess Fairy Twinkle Toes and Sir Pony Prance-a-lot as long as the names are used consistently and the example adequately conveys the point.
 
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Tony Go
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I've added titles to the names in my recent rulebook. It's a sci-fi game so I think it fits!

Captain Niven, Ensign Moeller, etc
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Michael Carter
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Horror Leader wrote:
I've added titles to the names in my recent rulebook. It's a sci-fi game so I think it fits!

Captain Niven, Ensign Moeller, etc


I hope there is a Captain Pournelle.
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